President Hinckley spoke at the dedication service
today for the new Gordon B. Hinckley building on the
BYU-Idaho campus. His remarks at the ceremony
were as follows:
President Monson, Elder Eyring, President Bednar,
distinguished guests, faculty and students, what a
great honor you do me. When President Bednar
proposed the naming of this building to the Board of
Trustees where I serve as chairman, I was simply
flummoxed. (See if you know what that word means.) I
did not know what to say. I was taken by surprise. I
was stunned. I simply said in the language peculiar
to the lawyers, "I recuse myself." I
turned to President Monson, and said, "You run
Someone once asked Abraham Lincoln how it felt to
be president. He replied, "Well now, it feels
sort of like the fellow they run out of town on a
rail. If it wasn’t for the honor of it, I’d just
as soon walk!"
I feel I can honestly say that I had no desire
for such an honor. It had never crossed my mind. I
did not seek it, but I am grateful for your great
kindness in extending it to me. The name of this
building will be a constant reminder to me to live
worthy of the trust that you have placed in me and a
reminder to my posterity that someone honored their
forebear and in so doing brought a sacred trust to
those who carry his name.
President Monson and President Bednar have spoken
to you. That is enough for one day. But I am told
that I am expected to say something. I will try to
keep it to the point and make it brief.
I wish to speak to the students of this great
institution. I have a granddaughter who is among
Something remarkable is happening on this campus.
You may not be entirely aware of it. It was a very
long time in coming. Many years ago its destiny was
debated very hotly. Some wanted to make of this a
four-year school and move it to Idaho Falls. They
very strongly argued for their wish. But the Board
of Trustees, after listening to everyone who had
anything to say, concluded to leave Ricks in Rexburg
and continue it as a two-year college. It has thus
continued until two years ago. The announcement that
came in the year 2000 was bold, and I believe
prophetic. It came of a desire to offer to the good
young people of this Church, in larger numbers, the
great privilege of attending and graduating from a
Church university. By moving from two years to four
years this could be accomplished.
It happened at the time that President Bednar was
in office. There may be others, but I do not know of
anyone else who could have overseen and brought
about the miracle that has occurred on this campus.
I assure you that it is a miracle.
I am deeply grateful that the Ricks family showed
no resentment over the change of the name. It is a
tribute to them and a recognition of their great
faithfulness as Latter-day Saints. Well they might
have wished that the school continue under the name
of their worthy forebear, Thomas E. Ricks.
But it was thought that recognition of the school
might be further enhanced by carrying the BYU badge.
I believe the wisdom of that has been shown.
A willingness to give up intercollegiate
athletics is much appreciated. I remind you that it
is not unique for a first-class university to get
along without an intercollegiate athletic program.
If you wish to regard this as a great sacrifice,
then take satisfaction from the fact that you are
willing to make such a sacrifice. As a matter of
fact, I attended the BYU football game last Saturday
and almost came to the conclusion that they could
get along without an intercollegiate athletic
To the faculty who were willing to make
adjustments and have given up some treasured
prerogatives in that process, I extend my sincere
thanks. I hope, I pray, that you are finding greater
happiness and increased excitement in the new status
which has come to the school.
To the people of Rexburg, I believe you will
benefit from this change and I hope that all will
unite to assist in this process, realizing that in
the presence of this university in this city you
have an immense treasure and an institution worthy
of your support in all that it undertakes to do.
To President Bednar, my sincere thanks again for
your herculean efforts, and to Sister Bednar, who
has worked with you in this remarkable undertaking,
I express deep gratitude.
To the Board of Trustees who embraced the
suggestion that we make the effort to go forward
with this transition and who have wholeheartedly
done everything possible to assist, I express my
And finally, to the faithful tithe payers
throughout the world whose consecrations have made
this possible, I express my most sincere
Brigham Young University–Provo has become a
truly great institution, now recognized across the
nation for the quality of the education it provides,
for the strength of its faculty, and for its unique
and large student body. It is a credit to the Church
and will continue to be so.
BYU–Hawaii is doing a wonderful work and is
accomplishing great things as it goes forward in
training thousands of students on its beautiful
And now, BYU–Idaho has become the third
institution of growing strength under this unique
BYU trilogy of great institutions of learning.
The Church has spent many millions in rebuilding
the campus. It has spent these sacred funds to bless
the lives of you students who come here. I hope you
are grateful. I recognize that it is still costly to
attend this university, but it is less costly than
it would be almost anywhere else.
I see a great future for this institution. It
will go forward under inspired leadership. It will
grow in strength under a dedicated and able faculty.
It will be increasingly recognized as its graduates
move out across the world and fill positions of
How do I know this?
I know this because this is an institution of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Its
mission is well defined. That mission is to impart
secular knowledge in a first-class manner while
building faith in the Eternal God and His risen Son,
the Lord Jesus Christ.
This Church will never fail. Jesus Christ stands
at its head. And just as it will never fail, neither
will its institutions and programs.
This university will succeed in a wonderful
manner. It will take its place among the great
learning facilities of our nation as we who have
some attachment to it walk and work in faith. For
this I humbly pray, invoking my love and blessing
upon you, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.